They are similar in that they have hypothesis, variables, data collection and analysis. The experimental design with computational models allows for manipulations that can lead to an hypothesis, instead of the usual order of beginning with an hypothesis. This keeps students thinking. The ability to do multiple trials and look at a variety of possible outcomes is difficult to do with classroom experiments. Time is a major factor. By using the simulations students could run multiple trials, change behavior of components and develop hypothesis based on information from manipulations.